Arlo Q vs Nest Cam: Which Smart Home Security Cam is Best for You?

(Last Updated On: November 25, 2017)

There are several security cameras that you could buy for your home.  These allow you to take control of your home security and be safer.  These security cameras also help you keep an eye on things when you are away.

Two of the best indoor security cameras you can buy right now are Arlo Q and Nest Cam.

Bottom Line Up Front: I think both of these smart cams are remarkably similar, however, go with:

Special Holiday Pricing Update: The Nest Cam is currently discounted 30% off here AND the Arlo Q is discounted 41% off here. If price is your motivating factor, this might help drive your decision as these two cameras are very similar.

Nest Cam Key Offerings

The Nest Cam has a 1080 pixel resolution and a magnetic base coupled with a pivoting stand, and both of these make it stand out from the slew of security cameras available right now.  Nest Cam really pulled out all stops when it comes to the Web camera part.

It features 1920 by 1080 pixels video that delivered two megapixels of resolution, motion alerts, night vision, and sound alerts.  Additionally, they have made the Nest Aware cloud storage an optional thing.  What do all these mean?

The Nest Cam can record videos even at night or in low light conditions, it can detect movement and sound, and it gives you clear footage of what it sees, while also giving you the option of putting all the footage on the cloud for
easy viewing.

The camera also has a 130-degree field of view, which means that it can see more of what is in front of it.  It has two-way audio, meaning you can use it to communicate with people inside the room where it is in. You will get a motion or sound notification once in every 30 minutes.

Works with Nest

The Nest Cam works with several devices under the Works with Nest program, allowing some degree of automation for your security camera and
these devices.

You can integrate the Nest Cam with LIFX smart lights, SkyBell HD, Lutron Caseta lighting control, MyQ garage door opener,Philips Hue, August Home, Verizon Smarthub, simplehuman sensor mirror pro, Wink, Nexia, Mimo baby monitor, among a lot of others. The Nest Cam also works with IFTTT recipes.


One of the best things about the Nest Cam is that you can detach the camera from its stand, making it very flexible in terms of placement.

If you do decide to use the stand, you will appreciate the magnetic base and the rotating stand because it helps you put the camera at angles where it could see more of the room.

Nest Cam has a black finish, making it very easy to blend into whatever design and decor you already have.

What could be better

The Nest Cam does not have local storage, so there is no way for you to look at the security footage that it records unless you pay the monthly Nest Aware cloud service, that starts at $10 per month for only 10 days of
continuous recording.

The company could have given its customers a more affordable option, such as offering a subscription plan where you pay $2 for two days of continuous recording, which would be enough to get footage if there are security breaches that you are alerted to.

For the most part, you are paying $10 for 10 days of what would essentially be useless footage.  A better move would have been to have a free subscription to the cloud storage service.

The system does limit itself in that you can get only one sound or motion alerts for every 30 minutes.  This does not make sense, except to minimize false alerts as you simply cannot have your smartphone chime an alarm every time the motion or sound detectors are triggered.

But it does leave you without alerts for a good 30 minutes.  For instance, if you yourself triggered the motion alert before going to bed and 10 minutes later, a burglar breaks in.  The thief would have a good 20 minutes before you are alerted.  This would give the thief enough time to cart away your valuables.

Nest Cam should have made it possible to adjust the sensitivity for both the motion and sound detector to lessen false alerts while also giving you the peace of mind to be alerted when it does get triggered.

Arlo Q Key Offerings

As a security camera, the Arlo Q works rather well.  It has sound and motion detection and it delivers alerts promptly.  Arlo Q allows you to set up activity zones, or areas that will trigger the motion alerts when movement is detected.

Arlo Q has 1080 pixels, giving you high definition live feeds.  At night, you will love the night vision that allows you to see things even in the dark. Arlo Q also offers two-way communication, video playback and scheduling.  You can even arm and disarm your Arlo Q so that you do not get alerts when you are home.

In terms of design, the Arlo Q takes on a white casing, making it very easy to blend into the background.  It has a rotating ball head and a magnetic base.  Or you could use the included metal bracket if you want to mount it on walls.

Additionally, it is very easy to set up the Arlo Q.  Most people can install it without needing to read the quick start guide that comes in the box.  You just put it anywhere you like, run the power cable to your computer or to any electrical outlet.

Download the app and then create an account to “claim the camera” and that
is it.

The mobile app is very intuitive and it is easy to navigate from one screen to the other.  If you have several Arlo Qs, you can manage all of them from just
one app.

You will see a list of connected cameras on the home page, along with information on whether the Wi-Fi, sound detection and motion detection are enabled on these cameras.  You can also use the mobile app to watch a live stream, or watch any new alerts from the Library.

You can also record videos, take photos and talk to people in the same room as the camera.

Cloud storage

The best thing about Arlo Q is that you can store your video for free using the Basic Cloud Service Plan.  You get event-based recordings for seven days.  If you run out of space or if you exceed 1 GB, you can just delete the files stored on
the cloud.

For the most part, however, videos that are stored for more than a week are automatically deleted.

If you want more storage space or if you want to keep your videos longer, you can pay $10 for thirty days of recordings up to 10 GB.  You can also get 100 GB of storage for 60 days by paying only $15 a month.

Arlo Q also offers continuous video recording, where you will have to pay $9.99 per month for 14 days of continuous recording or pay $19.99 for 30 days.

What could be better

While the video quality is great for Arlo Q, the audio quality was not consistent.  There are times when it was difficult to make out words during a live feed.  The Arlo Q does not have integrations with other devices, and does not even have its own IFTTT channel.

What should you buy?

With the Arlo Q and the Nest Cam being the same price, how do you choose?

Design-wise, the Nest Cam might be more futuristic looking with its sleek black case.  It also looks more elegant and durable than the Arlo Q.  But the Arlo Q is not too shabby.

Handling both, however, you would notice that it is easier to position the Nest Cam at any angle you would want than the Arlo Q.  In the end, design choice is a matter of taste, and both the Arlo Q and the Nest Cam are very eye-catching and easy to blend with your existing décor.

As a security camera, both the Arlo Q and the Nest Cam are very capable.  Both have HD resolutions and wide fields of view.

It also has sound and motion detection that allow you to get alerted when something moves or make a noise around your home when there should be nobody there.  You can also enjoy two-way communication with either brand.

What makes the Nest Cam limited, however, is the fact that motion and sound alerts are limited to only one for every 30 minutes.  This might mean that you might not get alerted to movement and sound happening in your own home, and you would need to be actively monitoring your Nest Cam.

Side by side comparison:  Arlo Q vs. Nest Cam

Arlo QNest Cam
Price $199.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)$199.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Color WhiteBlack
Field of view (diagonal) 130 degrees130 degrees
Video quality 1080p1080p
Free cloud storageYesNo
Paid cloud storage YesYes
Local storage NoNo
Glass lens YesYes
Night vision YesYes
iOS mobile appYesYes
Android mobile appYesYes
Amazon FireOSYesNo
Web app YesYes
2-way audio YesYes
Motion and sound alerts YesYes


Another minus point for the Nest Cam is that you do not have a free option to its cloud storage.

That means that if you want to retrieve any security footage, you would need to pay $10 per month, which is also more expensive than the cloud storage services from other brands.  If you have an Amazon FireOS device, you will also appreciate that Arlo Q has a mobile app for your device.

However, a big drawback for Arlo Q is the lack of integrations.  This means that you can get some degree of home automation with the Nest Cam that you cannot get from Arlo Q.

Arlo Q vs. Nest Cam

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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